North-South vulnerable, West deals


xK 6

uK 4 3

vA 9 6 5

wQ 9 6 3


xJ 10 9 7 4 3 x8

uA Q 7 uJ 10 9 8 2

v2 vK J 4

wJ 5 2 wA 10 7 4


xA Q 5 2

u6 5

vQ 10 8 7 3

wK 8

The bidding:


2x Dbl Pass 3NT

All pass

Opening lead: Jack of x

The North-South bidding decisions were aggressive but reasonable. Despite this, they reached a contract where success was against the odds.

South saw that he had three spade tricks and at most four diamond tricks, barring a lucky singleton king with West. He was going to need two tricks from hearts and clubs. He got started on those right away by winning the opening spade lead in dummy and leading a low club. East could have defeated the contract by rising with his ace and shifting to hearts. East had no idea, of course, that declarer’s main suit was diamonds. South was attacking the club suit and ducking the ace seemed like a routine play.

South won in hand with the king and shifted his attention to diamonds, leading a diamond to dummy’s ace and another back toward his hand. East ducked this also, so South won with the queen, cashed one high spade, and led a diamond to East’s king. East was down to only hearts and clubs and had to give dummy a trick in one of those suits for declarer’s ninth trick.

East cannot defeat the contract by winning the second diamond with the king and exiting safely with the jack. Declarer still succeeds by leading a heart toward the king. Dummy’s clubs are just good enough to prevent the defense from taking more than two club tricks.

Tribune Content Agency

More like this from

  • July 5, 2013 midnight


  • August 23, 2017 midnight


  • October 25, 2016 midnight


  • June 12, 2013 midnight


  • May 7, 2013 midnight


Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.